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Underutilized Facilities: DOD and GSA information sharing may enhance opportunities to use space at military installations

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just released its recommendations for granting the use of unutilized (vacant) and underutilized (partially vacant) facilities on military installations to non-Department of Defense (DOD) entities, such as other federal agencies.

Despite the potential benefits, routine information sharing does not currently occur between the DOD and the General Services Administration (GSA) concerning opportunities to move non-DOD federal agencies onto military installations. Specifically, when GSA is working to satisfy the space needs of its clients, it does not routinely contact DOD installations to inquire whether space might be available. DOD, on the other hand, waits for non-DOD federal agencies to inquire whether space is available and does not generally reach out to GSA or agencies that may be interested in space. Without taking actions to share information, GSA offices working with non-DOD federal agencies to find them space may risk missing opportunities for their clients to reduce or avoid costs. In addition, both GSA and DOD may miss opportunities to leverage resources and enhance utilization of federal real property.

GAO has designated DOD’s Support Infrastructure Management as a high-risk area in part due to challenges in reducing excess infrastructure. DOD installations can establish agreements to allow entities such as non-DOD federal agencies and private entities to use property on DOD installations that are unutilized or underutilized.

The GAO has recommended that DOD and GSA collaborate to enhance routine information sharing concerning non-DOD federal agencies seeking workspace at military installations. DOD and GSA concurred and agreed to take action to help ensure that government-owned assets are used to capacity.